Window Phone 8 unlocks a world-class game developer platform with support for native code, which enables porting of existing games quickly – in some instances in as little as a few days from iOS and Android. And, with the convergence of the Windows Phone and Windows gaming platform enabled through a shared Windows core, developers are telling us they can reuse over 90% of the same code to deliver games to a global device market.
If you haven’t yet taken a look at Windows Phone 8, we’ve added a number of capabilities that are particularly useful for game developers, including in-app purchase (for both durables and consumables), giving you more options to monetize your games. This is in addition to the existing advertising, trial and paid app business models. We’ve also added some of the most popular payment options to give customers more ways to purchase your games or game items, including PayPal, Alipay, and a large expansion of carrier billing (21 connections across 15 markets), enabling more users to conveniently buy paid games and game items. Carrier billing, when offered is preferred by 75% of the Windows Phone users who have access to it and drives over 3x paid downloads compared to credit card billing.
As important, Windows Phone customers enjoy gaming with over one-third of all app downloads and 60% of Windows Phone Store revenue originating from games. In fact, almost half of the top 50 Windows Phone developers create games for the platform.
With today’s announcements from our middleware providers, porting games to Windows Phone just got even easier.
Earlier today, Unity announced the Unity 4 open beta for Windows Phone 8. Open to all developers, the beta program represents an opportunity to try the new tools, provide feedback, and begin Windows Phone 8 game development. Unity is already showing off a few popular titles built on the new platform and available in the Windows Phone Store today, including: Drift Mania Championship 2 (Ratrod Studio), Windows Phone-exclusive Fling Theory (Coding Jar Studios), and Orcs Must Survive (Echoboom) and coming very soon, Temple Run.
In addition, Marmalade just released a new beta of its Windows Phone 8 SDK, also open to all developers, and announced the first 2 games ported from iOS and Android: 6th Planet (Monkube) and Propel Man (Spiel Studio).
Havok is showing off its support for Windows Phone 8 here at GDC with striking graphics demos. Andrew Bowell, Head of Product Management at Havok commented: “At Havok, we are all about enabling immersive 3-D worlds, highly realistic and interactive character simulation, and cinematic visuals. The Windows Phone 8 platform provides the access Havok needs to really optimize down to the metal and to allow developers to create rich content and enhanced gameplay experience.”
In addition, today Cocos2d-x community, the makers of the popular cross platform open source 2D game engine for mobile developers, released a new version of Cocos2d-x for Windows Phone 8 aligned with the Cocos2d-x v2.1 API.
And to complete the ultimate mobile game play experience, PowerA today announced Windows Phone support for its MOGA state-of-the-art controllers designed specifically for mobile devices. The new MOGA SDK for Windows Phone will be available soon. In the meantime, check out this demonstration of the new MOGA controller.
If you are interested in learning more about using middleware to port games to Windows Phone here is a short video introduction featuring Unity. Windows Phone offers a great game platform, and it’s only getting better. Device and app sales are climbing and more developers every day are finding that Windows Phone 8 makes it easy to create new games and port existing games to our platform – there’s simply no reason not to.
We hope you’ll come by and visit us at GDC to learn more. You can’t miss us, we’re located in the lobby bar.